What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by loss of contact with reality and another set of symptoms that indicate the disintegration of personality. It is a disease that affects 1% of the world and it is first in importance in mental diseases.
In acute schizophrenia patients lose contact with the world around them, they cease to relate to others and suffer from personal neglect. Although it may appear at any time of life, the disease usually manifests in males around 20 years in women over 30. Proportionately, it affects more men than women and is rare before adolescence.
Types of schizophrenia
Among the main types we have:
Paranoid schizophrenia: Patient experiences sensory hallucinations that are false perceptions through the senses. Among them the most common are auditory hallucinations in patients, to “hear voices” that speak to them. Sometimes, although rarely, they may experience other sensations (smells, touch, etc.) In addition to hallucinations, they also experience delusions or illogical thinking. Among these the most typical are the persecution mania (the sick feel threatened by others) or obsessive thoughts.
Disorganized schizophrenia: The patient, in addition to delusions or hallucinations, shows thought or language disorders, is unable to communicate and there is a tendency to isolation.
Catatonic schizophrenia: The patient has altered movements such as stiffness, lethargy, imitation of the gestures of others, etc. the patient can show very pronounced personal excitement which can cause damage to him or herself. There is a loss of personal care, with a clear abandonment of personal hygiene, food, etc.
Undifferentiated schizophrenia: Without a clear symptoms it may appear as all previous forms.
Residual schizophrenia: it is the remaining after an attack of the previous types. It may manifest any of the mentioned symptoms but with less intensity.
Causes of schizophrenia
It is not known exactly what they are the causes of schizophrenia, although there are a series of factors that seem to have certain influence. The most important they are the following:
– Heredity: It is known that people with a history of schizophrenia patients have up to 10 times more likely to develop the disease than those who do not have patients in their family.
– Viral Infections: The presence of a virus the area of the brain that senses damage in this region producing a little adaptation to sensory over stimulation.
– Bad formation of the brain: Problems in the formation of the brain, produced essentially during birth, can be the cause of the appearance of this disease.
– Influence of the environment: The emergence of highly stressful situations in the life of a person (accidents, death of relatives or people very dear, very severe traumatic experiences, etc.) are not the direct cause of schizophrenia, but can favor its presence. Within this chapter can also enter drug or alcohol consumption.
Diagnostics and treatment of schizophrenia
Before the onset of symptoms which can warn of the possible existence of this disease is necessary a visit to a psychiatrist to conduct a proper diagnosis. That is the specialist who will prescribe a proper medication for treatment.
The first episodes of this disease may require hospitalization. It is necessary to take suitable medicines to avoid future relapses, although, unfortunately, they have many side effects such as drowsiness or obesity or even the onset of chronic involuntary movements (tardive dyskinesia)
This medication, along with the support of the family, the attendance to groups of physical or professional rehabilitation allows many patients to be able to develop a normal life after some time. Another percentage inferior of patients does not respond to the medication so well and requires of a permanent care, being incapable to resolve basic the vital needs.
More information on schizophrenia.